Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

Sioux Falls City Election, YES on A, NO on B

As people have been absentee voting, many have asked me how to vote on the amendments. Amendment ‘A’ is pretty easy to understand. Amendment ‘B’ is a little more complicated, but I will lay it out for you 1) VOTE NO 2) If this was as simple as following state law, the council would have passed this already, they did not, because it is more complicated than that 3) this would increase the number of signatures you would need to petition our city charter. It should be made easier to petition our local government not harder. This is simply an attempt to justify the questionable rules that were implemented on Triple Check the Charter. How can you apply rules to petitioning when citizens haven’t approved those rules yet? VOTE NO!

Absentee voting starts TODAY for Sioux Falls City Council and School Board!

HERE is all the information you need to absentee vote. I believe however the absentee vote in person moved to the election center east of the Minnehaha County Administration building on 6th street.

We still don’t know if the State Legislature decided to postpone April municipal elections, they were debating it today.

And you know who to vote for . . .

Municipal Elections likely to be postponed until June primary

The legislature is leaning towards a bill that will set the municipal elections in June during the scheduled primary election. It also looks that absentee voting would start on March 30th and be available for the next two months.

I look at this a couple of ways, I think it would have been virtually impossible to hold the election in a couple of weeks. I also think that two months of absentee voting is good, and safer. But I also think that many people are not thinking about a city election right now, and hopefully this clears by the end of May so there can be a little concentration on the election and the candidates.

Also, I have been thwarted by several folks over the past few days that the city council doesn’t have the legal authority to change the election date. I believe they do, and I think it is as simple as practicing their right to change city ordinance under the Home Rule Charter. I also look at this as something the courts could weigh in on. How could the city possibly hold a public city election at the height of a dangerous pandemic with NO poll workers? Well, Sherlock they couldn’t, and I think a judge would agree that gives them the legal authority to change ordinance on the fly. Remember, law isn’t what is written on paper, it is what the courts and judges decide, it is all fluid. And if a governmental body is unable to hold an election, that body has the legal right to remedy the situation, and I don’t think there is a judge in the land that would side on endangering the public because the legislature said a city MUST have an election on a certain date come Hell or highwater. Maybe what we are really saying is if the election can’t be held on April 14th, there is no election, and candidates Neitzert, Mickelson and Stehly get to remain in their seats automatically for the next term? I have a feeling the same arguing against me would argue against that scenario also. Funny how that works.

Legislature SHOULD allow communities to decide if they want to have April 14th elections

The SD State Legislature decided to meet electronically for veto day, which is a good. It is also more proof that the municipal and school board elections across the state should be postponed, or at least give communities the option to decide. That is what Minnehaha County Auditor said during yesterday’s County Commission meeting. Basically if the Legislature makes a decision on the election, they would pass a bill that would allow communities to decide for themselves if they wanted to hold the election on April 14th, which I think is a great idea. There are roughly 70 communities that are planning a April 14th election across the state. Litz basically said in smaller, less populated cities, they would probably be okay with holding an election, but bigger cities like Sioux Falls may have issues with it. Bob also said that he could easily combine the city/school election ballot with a 2-sided primary ballot.

I’m still on the fence about it. I think we need to see where we are at with the Corona Virus in couple of weeks before we decide. We also don’t know what it will be like in June. I think if communities are given the option to decide for themselves, they should do it on April 6th.

Is postponing the municipal elections part of an evil Democratic Party plot?

While our Mayor, Health Director and City Attorney continue to tell us they don’t have the legal authority to close businesses (even though it is clearly spelled out in our charter that they can close businesses based on threats to public health) there seems to be another strange conspiracy brewing.

It seems the governor is pointing fingers at the SOS and they both are pointing fingers at the legislature while the legislature is pointing fingers back at them while our city clerk is trying to scrounge up boy scouts to run the polls.

I have argued all along, if we can’t find poll workers to work the April election, we can’t have an election. Who cares about state law?

But there’s a funny rumor being spread around by Republican lawmakers; they fear moving the municipal elections to the June primaries would give advantages to Democrats running for office.


First off, most, if not all municipal elections and school board elections are non-partisan. What Democrats would have an advantage? I also think Biden will already be the nominee before June, so there really wouldn’t be a reason for Dems to show up in June accept for a handful of Democratic primaries. If anything, I think Dems would have a bigger advantage voting in April. But either way, I have heard some pretty goofy things from the majority party in SD, but this one takes the cake.

Do the right thing, postpone the elections until June. You will have a higher voter turnout, save taxpayers money, and most importantly keep people safe while voting. Why does everything have to be political with Republicans in our state? This is about public safety and not politics.

Count Jensen violating campaign signage rules

I don’t get too upset about this, because almost every city election cycle this happens. You are not supposed to place signs in the boulevard (parking strip) because it is city owned property. My argument is that anything the city owns, I own, but rules are rules.

While some would argue that if a candidate hands out signs to supporters, they really can’t control where the supporter puts the sign. Which is true. But you can tell the supporter to not post in the boulevard.

But what makes this case interesting is that the yard these signs are in, are a supposedly a close family member of Jensen. Rules be damned for the Chosen One!

Probably stuck there in the middle of the night.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly once again has the vision of a true leader

Whether it was a misguided administration building, parking ramp, secretive task force meetings or potholes, Stehly was the first, once again;

But the safety of doing so is in question amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why Mayor Paul TenHaken, all eight city councilors and the City Clerk are urging Gov. Kristi Noem and Secretary of State Steve Barnett to take emergency action to postpone the April 14 election.

Theresa had been asking for at least a couple of weeks to postpone the city elections across the state while her colleagues on the council (not Starr or Brekke who have bee supportive of Stehly’s idea) have been ignoring her.

So after Starr and Cameraman Bruce organize a drive-thru absentee ballot sign up over the past two days (as I understand was very safe, with no crowded lines with people remaining in their cars) all of a sudden the rest of the council has a change of heart.

Once again Stehly was ahead of the curve on this and the rest of the city council had no choice but to follow suit. Which proves once again why she needs to be reelected.

What makes this even more egregious is that this letter wasn’t supposed to go out until after Tuesday’s Health Board decision comes out, but somehow got leaked onto FB by Erickson and then to her little slimeball friend up north. Funny how that works?

Speaking of the health board, now our great leader of the city is leaving it up to them and ultimately the city council to make the difficult decision to mandate restaurants and bars be closed, which will only domino into most non-essential businesses being closed.

While I have argued for a long time that the city council doesn’t really do squat, thank GOD we have them now to make the critical decisions that the mayor’s office cannot apparently make, or willing to make.

Mayor TenHaken could make a solid legal case for shutting down the public health threat those barhoppers pose to all of us.

This will give him more time to hand out board games to the quarantined and drive around SF taking pictures of bars’ parking lots. Sorry Paul, while being ‘Positive’ during a crisis is a good suggestion and all, it doesn’t pay the rent or cure the sick. We used to have this saying in the restaurant business when a customer would give you a glowing compliment than leave NO tip; You can’t buy groceries with a compliment.

But one more thing, the City Council also needs to mandate that the Events Center, Convention Center and Arena’s floor space be dedicated for a temporary health care facility/shelter if needed. They DO have the power to do that considering the taxpayers own those facilities. We may just make the Denty useful after all.

We also need to work with the local grocers and food banks to have a safe system to hand out food to those who need it. People soon will be unable to safely go in person to the grocery stores, even if they have the money. This hysteria could lead to looting, we don’t want to go there. We need a plan NOW on how we are going to handle food shortages.

Sioux Falls Ethics Board opinion about city election campaigning and finance

Please find the attached Board of Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 20-1


Absentee Vote for April 14th City Council election

What: Event to register for absentee mail-in ballot.
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 21- 22 from 10:00-12:00.
Where : Frying Pan Restaurant on 10th and Cleveland. 

Registration forms provided. Bring Photo ID. Pat Starr will be there to notarize your form.

Candidates that are on the ballot will NOT be at this event. This is an opportunity for you to get a mail in ballot for the election.

They will make sure that they only help one person at a time to ensure social distancing. It will only take a few minutes.

At this point, it is unsure if the legislature will vote on March 30 to postpone the election, so we need to find safe ways to vote in case the corona virus spreads over the next month at a rapid rate. I’m hoping the legislature will postpone the municipal elections across the state until June, but there are no guarantees they will do that. This is the safest and most prudent way to absentee vote.

You can also go online;

If you’d like to have mail-in absentee ballots sent to you, you can sign up using this form: FORM

Print it out, fill it in, and either have it notarized  or include a copy of your photo ID when you send it to your County Auditor’s office.

Former Sioux Falls Mayor Rick Knobe endorses Stehly and Beaudion for city council

Obviously the virus and info about it is the big story.

Like after 9/11, we are entering a new normal.

As you know I’m a local government guy. That’s where the rest of this post is going.

City Council Election Day is April 14th. No provision in State Law to postpone it.

Local government has a profound impact on the quality of your life.

Streets, the quality and quantity of your drinking water, police, fire, public health(including the Covid 19 virus) are responsibilities of local government.

The people elected to the City Council need to be visionary, intelligent, articulate, independent thinkers, and when needed leaders, which may mean disagreeing with the “pack. “

I know the two incumbents and one of the challengers.

Since we are entering a new normal I want the voice of Julian Beaudion to be on the City Council. The qualities and resume of Julian Beaudion impress me. He’s in the trenches being a state law enforcement officer and also with his family running an Independent restaurant in downtown Sioux Falls. His campaign is about diversity and inclusion. We need that on the Council. He has my vote and yes, I gave him a modest donation. The incumbent is a decent man. He has a loving family. I like him. However voting isn’t about liking someone.

It’s about putting people in a responsible position who can represent ALL of us and has the ability to deal with the complex issues facing us. To me that’s Julian Beaudion.

The At Large seat has the outspoken incumbent, Theresa Stehly being challenged by an unknown challenger. I haven’t met him. His donors have given BIG money, including $10,000 from our former Governor. The list includes the moneyed folks in town.

None of that is evil, but to me it is a sign. The power people usually don’t like outspoken people. They want somebody they can manage/handle/ control.

The incumbent, Theresa Stehly, is not automatically against the moneyed people, but she is not afraid to disagree when she thinks they are wrong.

I like that quality in an elected official.

I want, and the City Council needs, alternative ideas. Ideas and suggestions different from the administration and moneyed folks.

The challenger to Theresa Stehly has chosen to go negative in his first two presentations. First, a public challenge to Stehly’s privately funded Stehly Report, and second, a negative postcard.

I want people in office with ideas to make Sioux Falls better. So far, the challenger, and his handlers, have gone negative. Not a good sign.

He might be a nice fellow. But so far his actions are those of a negative thinker. We don’t need that.

Finally, Theresa Stehly has been right on the big issues. She has fought for, and won, more transparency from the city administration.

She was right about concerns over the now defunct hotel and parking ramp project, now in litigation.

She was right in her attempt to collect law enforcement and other expenses, from the PRIVATE fundraiser held by then governor candidate Kristi Noem, which featured President Trump.

I know she has been an irritant to some. But, I think we need people to challenge our thinking and our habits.

Theresa Stehly has my vote and will get a modest check to support her campaign.

That’s it from me.

Early voting starts March 30th.